Sunday Jan 8, 2017
Free wifi at the Malta International Airport ;~}
Sweet. BUT. This is a COLD January for Malta. Mid 40s with gale winds and occasional 5 minutes of hail or driven rain. In bed, the wind howls over the roof top and past open courtyards. Ghosts of old and ancient wars are awake and prowling.
Friday was a museum day. The ferries between Sliema and Valletta were shut down Thursday AM as the seas even in the inner harbor were to rough. It is suspected they wont be running until Monday AM. All the boats in the harbor were anchored out in the middle, away from the docks and retaining walls. Local buses were packed and as a result warm.
The Archeology Museum is closest to the bus terminal so that was the goal in the AM. Malta isn’t prepared for winter weather. “It only lasts a month. Maybe more this year.” In side the museum we only unzipped the jacket layers. It was still cold but at least no wind. Interestingly Malta was first settled from “Sicily” 7000 years ago by agricultural megalithic peoples. Stone burial structures older than Stonehenge and Pyramids are found here. These people disappeared after 2500 years; drought?
4500 years ago permanent people (Bronze Age) arrived and the islands have been inhabited since. Because of location it has been fought over often. Famously the christians and muslims sieged in the 1500s. WWII saw massive bombings by axis forces. There is a War Museum that we spent cold time in in the afternoon echoed this history from a military viewpoint. Winds whipped thru exposed corridors and a short hail fusillade hit.
Saturday we took buses to the southeast to Marsaxlokk. More sheltered but still a hard bite even in the spots of sun that occasionally light the harbor and the colored boats. A working fish harbor. It was far to rough to go out so there was a lot of fixing work; hulls and nets.
We found a recommended local eatery. “Ask for the fish of the day not a specific one. They’ll bring out the new fish just brought in and you choose what you want.” Yupe! Sea bass, Sea bream, Red mullet, and another one. We choose to have the bream and mullet mixed. Yummy with roasted potatoes and vegetables and Maltese chardonnay.
Sunday AM we finished visit with walk about the local harbor and local savory pastry for eating; spinach-olive-tuna is especially nice. The bus to airport was PACKED. Now we await the direct flight to Paris on Air Malta. Well that was nice; there is a piano near where we are waiting for the plane gate to be announced. Every once in awhile a traveler sits at it and plays a short “concert” to the appreciative applause of the other travelers.